This week we celebrate the 29th anniversary of the (original) KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles – the Barbara-Carlos-Mark-Sam version was the highest-rated local morning program in TV history! This show provided me with so many life-long friends, a treasure trove of memories and videos, it brought me a mantle full of Emmy Awards and it bought me my first house and half a dozen cars! A few years ago, I wrote a book about my phenomenal experiences starting up the KTLA Morning News – …Like No One’s Watching – Transform Your Local Newscast Into A Hit TV Show! On the off-chance that you haven’t read it, I’m posting the first chapter here – all about the little show that became a monster hit – completely by accident! Continue reading THE KTLA MORNING NEWS JULY 8, 1991
I watched Bobbie Battista religiously on CNN Headline News back in the day. You see, it was my job. The weekend producer at WLWT had me, their intern, logging CNN newscasts for any video we could use from CNN on our shows. OMG! Lynne Russell, Lynn Vaughn, Gordon Graham, that anchorman with one leg, Toria, Chuck Roberts! I watched them all but Bobbie was always my favorite! Continue reading AROUND THE WORLD IN 30 MINUTES
In the mid ’80’s, I was a mere intern at the NBC affiliate, WLWT in Cincinnati, working with Norma Rashid and Richard Hull. Nick Clooney was the WKRC news anchor who owned the market after stealing it from Al Schottelkotte at WCPO. Every time I was sent out to cover spot news stories – shootings, stabbings, fires, car accidents – whatever – I was there for Channel 5 – Nick was there for Channel 12. Obviously he got the best interviews because everyone wanted to talk with THE Nick Clooney. I came across this WKRC promo and I can verify it’s true. Nick was all over the streets of Cincinnati, right next to little intern Ray. I love the shot where Nick is interviewing Mayor Jerry Springer – the man who will ultimately unseat him as the market’s #1 news anchor. These were great days. Continue reading IN THE NICK OF TIME
Bonnie Franklin was a very good friends of ours at The KTLA Morning News. Every on-stage event we had, there she was joining in! I recently came across one of her earliest acting roles – as Sally in You’re The Judge from 1965. It’s an ephemeral film from that era produced by Crisco. Two girls are trying to “trap” two boys and the only way they figure they can do it is through their stomachs with some chicken and some cheating! It’s a wonderful lesson for the children of tomorrow! Enjoy. Continue reading A SHORT ABOUT SHORTENING
One of the best things about television in the ’70’s and ’80’s were those yearly image campaigns by each of the networks pushing their new fall lineup. ABC, CBS and NBC always seemed to be trying to out do each other every year with bigger, louder and more star-studded campaigns than the year before. Aside from the eye popping visuals, there were the catchy jingles accompanying each campaign. 1982’s winner was, hands down, ABC with it’s “Come On Along” theme. The network actually allocated a budget, hired a chopper and paid some of its talent to appear in scenes shot specifically for this campaign. Fonzi and Chachi, Mr. Roarke & Tattoo, Laverne and Shirley, Max from Hart To Hart, that Benson guy, Joanie (Erin Moran, who lived near me for many years in Los Angeles, RIP) and even Scooby Doo showed up in Manhattan to get bystanders to come on along. It’s the promotion people running amok, schlock galore, and I love every second of it: Continue reading 1982 IMAGE CAMPAIGNS
Two television treasures here from the golden age of local TV. I found these films just the other day and couldn’t wait to get them on-line for you to check out. I’ve never seen either presentation before but both films highlight independent station KTLA as a true forerunner in early television production from back in the day when owned by Paramount Studios. These are priceless portraits of local TV’s “coming of age” and the pioneers who put it all together. Continue reading A PRICELESS PORTRAIT OF TV’S PAST
When you combine two words, “popular” and luxury, you create “Populuxe”. It was a consumer culture and aesthetic in the U.S. in the 1950’s and ’60’s. The look and feel of Populuxe was one of futuristic and Space Age influence. You can identify the Populuxe movement in films, graphics, clothing designs, furniture, interior design and architecture. And nowhere is it more on display than a few of the short films I’ve collected below.
“DESIGN FOR DREAMING” (1956)
First is Design For Dreaming, a film which was shown before the feature film at movie theaters across the country. It was created to highlight the General Motors Motorama of 1956, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York and new Frigidaire appliances. Tad Tadlock, a dancer and choreographer plays the woman caught in pink pajamas going to the Motorama. Her masked suitor is dancer and choreographer Marc Breaux. The film is an over-the-top, dream-dance piece of puffery which is why it’s so fascinating to watch. Directed by William Beaudine and produced by Victor Solow for MPO Productions, it’s once of those productions I wish I had a hand in producing. I’ve acquired a breathtaking print of the film you won’t find on YouTube. Favorite Populuxe line of dialogue: “Better get her into the kitchen, quick!” Enjoy. Continue reading OUR “POPULUXE” PAST
Whew! Finally, something before my time. This is an article I came across detailing WLWT‘s move to a color mobile control room.
Continue reading CROSLEY’S COLORFUL CONTRAPTION
This is absolutely stunning! Samuel J. Seymour, at the time this episode of I’ve Got A Secret aired on February 9, 1956, was the last surviving witness to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Check it out: Continue reading WITNESS TO LINCOLN’S ASSASSINATION!